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Call for Papers: Beyond Multiculturalism
American Literature Association Annual Convention
May 25-28, 2006
San Francisco, California
The Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) and the Society for Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS) seek papers on the topic BEYOND MULTICULTURALISM to be presented at the American Literature Association annual convention, May 25-28, in San Francisco.
Multiculturalism has been a driving force in U.S. society since the civil rights movement and has been credited with many advances in promoting the cause of minority groups, from altering hiring practices to transforming the literary canon. Literary production and college syllabi reflect the diversity of U.S. culture like never before. However, over the past decade, critics have begun to argue that multiculturalism, once considered the answer to the problem, is actually part of the problem. Some, like Stanley Fish, argue that multiculturalism has been hijacked by commercial cultural. Others, like Vijay Prashad, claim that multiculturalism is "racism at a distance" in that it fetishizes culture as a monolithic, primordial, and identity-defining essence. Many have turned to the postmodern sublime as a new model, where contingency, hybridity and subjectivity-shuttling frees us from the confines of cultural essence. But still others argue that racism cannot be combated with a
postmodern model, or what E. San Juan Jr. calls, "the rebarbative postcolonial babble about contingency ruling over all."
Are we in a post-multicultural era? Is multiculturalism still a viable program? If so, how can it incorporate globalization, diaspora, cultural hybridity, and other facts of contemporary life? If not, what will replace it? Is polyculturalism a viable alternative? What new paradigms are on the horizon?
Please send paper proposals to Jeff Partridge at the following email address:
Proposal deadline: January 5, 2006
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Received on Tue Dec 13 2005 - 08:39:00 EST